Robin Pizzo

WKAR Director of Education

Robin Pizzo leads the education outreach efforts of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the PBS and NPR affiliate serving Michigan's capital region. Robin convenes partnerships and coordinates station initiatives such as WKAR Family and Ready to Learn to bring workshops, learning tools, and other resources into the community to help kids be resilient, lifelong learners.

Robin joined WKAR in January 2018.

Prior to joining WKAR, she was Director/Student Success Coach at Lansing Community College; before that, she spent many years in the K-12 educational arena in various capacities, including teaching.

Robin Pizzo has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Wayne State University and a Master's degree in Education from Marygrove College.
 

updated 11/2/18

A: During National Reading Month, I like to celebrate books as a special guest of honor. The cold dreariness of winter is at a peak and a longing for spring’s excitement is ever present. Yes, March Madness has Spartans chanting “Go Green! Go White!” but for all children, books should be the true champions of March.  

Here are a few tips to highlight reading all month long. 

A: Absolutely. Books that show the diversity of the world around us broaden the impact and value of literacy. 
 

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, known as the “mother of multicultural children’s literature,” wrote “Shadow and Substance” as a framework to analyze literature for children of color. She is most famous for showing the powerful purpose that children’s books can serve as mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.  

A: Understanding why repetition and routine are important to a child’s development is one way to avoid the blues.

 

While children have been learning at home, parents have had to ramp up the number of times they repeat themselves when giving instructions and setting expectations. Parents have also found themselves creating and keeping new routines to ensure everyone is able to make it successfully through the day. This can cause a creative drag on spontaneity and whimsical engagement.  

 

A: My immediate response is, why not a Black History Month? However, as I reflect more deeply, I recognize many may not be aware of the developmental origins of Black History Month in American culture. And although my response is not meant to be a comprehensive record of its beginnings, it does lead to the importance of Black History Month in today’s society and for today’s children.  
 

A: Simply stated, active listeners are better learners. A tremendous amount of education is provided verbally. When a student is able to process verbal communication effectively, learning becomes more proficient.  

 

To support listening skill development, try activities that focus primarily on listening without a visual component.  

 

A: The Michigan Learning Channel is on the air now from WKAR TV! And, on January 30, 2021 learners of every age can join me virtually for PBS KIDS DAY with WKAR.

I hope you can join me Saturday, Jan. 30 for PBS Kids Day. We'll have a blast with story time with Daniel Tiger and making Elephant Toothpaste with Callen, Ian and Rishabh of Curious Crew. We’ll be hosting several partner experiences and giving away cool gift bags while supplies last. 

A: Preschool for all children is extremely important for one primary reason: Kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don't.  

 

Socialization, skill development and self-regulation are a few areas where substantial gaps are noticed.

 

That’s why I reached out to Wendy Boyce, Great Start Collaborative Co-Coordinator of Ingham ISD, to provide information on how to enroll in a program.  Here's what she had to share:

 

A: Rather than set resolutions, I find it more helpful to reevaluate and establish goals for a new year -- and young learners can be encouraged to do the same. 

Perhaps it’s a matter of semantics but making New Year’s resolutions has never been my jam. The idea of proclaiming strong declarations seemed too rigid for my personal taste. Resolute denotes a heaviness that my life couldn’t carry as a mother, career woman, educator and advocate. I learned very early: working with children is not conducive to rigid structures.

 

As I reflect on best practices for this new year, one question continues to come to light. How can WKAR help?   

 

As Director of Education, I want to remind all of WKAR’s commitment to helping partners decrease education and literacy disparities throughout our community.  I understand the power of collaboration and collective effort; and serving the mid-Michigan region is my first priority.  

 

A: A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health but is often difficult to monitor. The CDC and several experts have released tips to help families in this area. 

These are especially important during the pandemic because children are managing an increased amount of stress. 

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